Coriolanus

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I went and watched a play written my William Shakespheare. He wrote this story 400 years ago and since I like to tell stories I thought I would give the Readers Digest version to anyone who’s interested. This Shakespheare fella is alright. Talks funny…but he’s not bad.

To be honest it was difficult to follow, and sometimes instead of listening to the actors gabble back and forth, I was dreaming about snowboarding. At the intermission, I used it as an excuse to talk to some chicks that were sitting near me. I had a hard time with some of the things that transpired during the play, but they helped clear it up for me and did some translating. They would not give me their phone numbers.

I was inspired to re-tell the story because of the middle age lady that sat next to me. She was absolutely thrilled the entire time and probably a high school English teacher or something. She had expressions on her face that reminded me of a kid on Christmas morning. She was smiling non-stop and touching her face. It was very clear and easy to see how much she loved the show. To me it just looked like a bunch of people standing around talking in a foreign language.

I was jealous of her experience. I only wish I was as tickled about things in my life the way she was about Shakespheare. I guess that’s why this guy is a pretty big deal, even though he’s been dead for a really long time.

Here we go, please enjoy:

Coriolanus by William Shakespheare.

This story is about a soldier pure and simple. This cat believed in honour and truth. He was the natural boss in the army and lead by example. I like to picture Russell Crow in the Gladiator show, in fact that movie and this play seem to have many parallels. So let’s call our main character Max after the Gladiator movie.

This guy is a legitimate bad ass. He goes to war and wins every battle. He is supported by all his generals, the men, and pretty much the entire population of Rome. He is recognized for his bravery and leadership and given many titles. He is promoted again and again until he is a highly decorated officer. Basically Max becomes the head mother fucker for the entire Roman military.

So he gets to thinking…where do I go from here? I’m the natural leader with scars, titles, and respect from everyone. This warrior artist decides to try his hand at politics. But he really doesn’t excel at this game. He excels at fighting and killing people. Especially when it comes to protecting the people he cares about.

The political world is a place of fighting with your mouth not your fists. Like mom always said, “Use your words sweetheart…” It’s also a place where people struggle over control of the city. It’s a place of heavy manipulation which our main character knows little or nothing about.

Max is used to life in the infantry, where if you don’t like a guy, you call him out and then beat him up and that settles it. End of story. In politics there is a very different system in place to establish order.

All of the heads of state give Max the support he needs to enter the political ring. It all seems very exciting and things are looking quite optimistic for our young hero.

However, the politicians with all the power see him coming a mile away. They say to themselves “Holly Shit! Look at this guy! We are going to be in some serious trouble here. This guy has street credit and a name everyone knows and loves, he’s gonna run show.” They were probably worried that he was gonna breed all the ladies, so they start scheming…Now I knew that we’re not supposed to like politicians, but I wasn’t sure why…they kind of have a reputation like lawyers that way I guess…anyway Shakespheare re-confirms the word on the street about politicians. Some things never change.

They set up Max and make it look like he doesn’t care about the people and he only cares about himself. They do this by turning what was meant as a joke into something else and run with it. They poison the minds of a few key people and form a mob mentality. Mobs are very chaotic by the way. When it’s chaotic it’s easier for shit heads to operate and bad behaviour almost always ensues. Just look what happened at the Vancouver Canucks riots, don’t get me started. Anyway…

The mob driven by a few easily influenced people, banishes him from the city.

Naturally Max was a little salty. He has just gone from being Rome’s most eligible bachelor to a human piece of garbage with no friends. This irritates him, so he goes out and finds the tribes he was previously at war against.

When his old enemies see him alone and vulnerable they get excited. Every member of their camp would love to kill this guy. He has been responsible for countless deaths and much hardship. It would be a great honour to finally finish it.

But Max is smart and he knows his value as a solider. He offers himself to be killed, but he also offers them a deal. The deal is this: “How about you don’t kill me and together we get all the tribes together and we go back and sack Rome like you’ve always wanted.” The leader of the tribes likes this idea and agrees to it because he knows that Max is so good at what he does, they can’t loose.

So max arrives back at the gates of Rome with thousands of “new friends.” Once again the politicians are like “Holy Shit! What do we do now?” They are certainly going to be killed and probably raped… even the men….specially the politicians. So they all panic.

In a last ditch effort, they send out Max’s mother to speak to him. She begs him to reconsider and plays to his big heart. The men you’ve been to war with, the children you’ve helped raise, the city that loved you, all need your forgiveness. There was lots of ass kissing from mom.

Then she pitches a possibility at him. What if the greatest warrior Rome has ever seen became an even greater peace maker. “If you stop the attack you can end all the fighting between the tribes and Rome and we can all live in peace and harmony” she suggested. Sounds good right?

After some careful thought, Max goes for even more greatness like his mother has recommended. He decides he doesn’t want to burn his home and gang rape the politicians who set him up. He goes back to his new army and addresses the other generals. “Hey guys…remember all that stuff I said about burning Rome to the ground? Well…. I was just kidding, how about we give peace a chance?” When he shares this plan, they don’t like it. So they kill him. They hang him up side down by his feet and cut his throat with a sword. He did not live happily ever after. The End.

What’s the moral of the story?

Politicians are bad.

Manipulating is bad.

Honour is good.

Stick to what you’re good at.

Beware of “new friends”.

Peace is hard to make.

Again, not my story. Just my version passed on to those who are interested from some guy named Bill.

Please note: William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

 

 

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